When you go visit Malaysia, it is impossible not to hear about the game of Sepak Takraw or more commonly called locally as Sepak Raga. It is one of Malaysia’s traditional and popular games that dates back from the 15th century. The term Sepak Takraw comes from “Sepak,” the Malay word for kick and “Takraw,” a Thai word for woven ball. Sepak takraw became the official name of the sport after both Malaysia and Thailand agreed on it as they are the two major countries that dominate the sport.
The International Sepak Takraw Federation (ISTAF) governs international tournaments such as the King’s Cup World Championships held annually in Thailand. The game is also included in the Asian Games and Southeast Asian Games. The game, with similarities with volleyball except for the use of the hand, is slowly gaining popularity in Europe as well.
Malaysia is a Southeast Asian country with thriving gambling industry. Since Sepak Takraw is popular in the country, betting in the sport always bring good results to the punters.
Before diving into the betting rules of the game, it is important to first look at how the game is played. Betting on the game would be much easier to understand if the rules are easily understood.
Sepak Takraw Players and Equipment
The game includes three players in each team. Each of the players plays a specific position including the Killer, Feeder, and the Tekong. The Inside players stay closer to the net whilst the Tekong is the one at the back, further to the net.
Players use a ball made of synthetic materials. Balls used in competitions must be ISTAF-approved. This must be woven with 12 holes and 20 intersections and must be in regulation weight and size. The ball must weigh approximately 250 grams. Players must play in a court with a dimension of 13.4 x 6.1 metres. The net must be stretched across the middle at the height of 1.42 metres for women and 1.5 metres for men.
How to Play Sepak Takraw
The objective of the game is to have one team score more points than their opponent. It is similar to playing volleyball but with fewer players. Teams come up with strategies to force the other team to commit a mistake or fault and obtain a score through it.
Scoring of Sepak Takraw
The scoring system of the game is quite simple. It is simply awarding a point to the team that forces their opponent to commit a fault. A point from a fault can result when:
- a Tekong player jumps off from the ground when making a service
- a Tekong player did not lick the ball when making a service
- any of the Inside players touch the net as they are throwing the ball
- the ball does not cross to the other team’s half
- the ball crosses the opponent’s half but lands outside the court boundaries
- the players play the ball more than three times in a row
- the players touch the ball on the opposing side
- the ball touches the arm of any of the players
- the players hold or grab the ball
- the ball touches the ceiling or any foreign object
Winning Sepak Takraw
Sepak Takraw concludes when one of the team wins two sets. Teams can win one set by reaching 21 points first. When a particular set remains tied at 21-21, a tie breaker ensues with the first team to have a two-point lead will become the winner. Since the game is quite physical in nature, players are expected to have great physical strength and agility to last the game and win a match. Many of the players practice living a healthy lifestyle and rigorous workout.
Rules for Playing Sepak Takraw
- Sepak Takraw should have two teams composed of three players each.
- All games must be played on a court with markings and size approved by the ISTAF.
- The first team to serve shall be determined by a coin toss before starting the game.
- The play begins as soon as the server receives a ball from its teammate and must make it cross over to the other side of the court whilst keeping one foot within the service circle.
- Service turns alternates after every three points despite who wins the points.
- Players can only touch the ball using their head, chest, knees, and feet. Touching the ball with the hand or any other body part automatically results in a fault which gives a point to the opposition.
- Players can only touch the ball three times within their court. They must return back the ball over the net without letting it hit the ground.
- Failing to return the ball over the net before it touches the ground automatically awards a point to the opposing team.
- All points in Sepak Takraw result from a fault from the opposing team. The first one to get 21 points wins the set. The first team to win two sets wins the match.
How to Bet on Sepak Takraw
Malaysia’s sports betting industry is a lucrative yet political issue that remains to be a hurdle for some gambling operators who want to do business legally. Sports betting in Malaysia is largely an activity enjoyed by the minority including Indians and Chinese. Most of the locals cannot legally gamble because they are Muslims covered by the Sharia Law which prohibits any form of gambling. Illegal sports betting amounts to as much as 20 billion Malaysian ringgit annually.
Betting on Sepak Takraw whilst in Malaysia is possible via online betting. Online websites such as Bet333 and 11clubs accept Malaysian punters and give out daily deposit bonuses. Malaysian punters can choose to place their wager depending on the odds, which can either be negative Malay odds or positive Malay odds.